Who has the most debt in the US?

This was the question posed to a group of my colleagues as regards the merits of US fiscal and monetary policy: guess who has the most debt in the US economy? Everyone at the table said ‘the government’. When most pundits talk of ‘government debt’ they are inherently referring to federal government, who is not […]

Policy Transmission Mechanism: Broken in Italy, Better in Spain

Yesterday, the Financial Times reported that borrowing costs for small businesses in the periphery were rising relative to the core using the ECB’s release of July MFI interest rate data. I highlighted this point exactly on August 1 following Draghi’s now famous London speech, where he cautioned that monetary transmission mechanism is ‘hampered’. As opposed […]

Dutch Domestic Demand Dragging Real Home Values

Today Statistics Netherlands (CBS) warned “House Prices Nosedive“. Prices of existing owner-occupied dwellings sold in July 2012 were on average 8.0 percent down from July 2011. This is the most substantial price drop since the price index of existing residential property was first recorded in 1995. In real terms and indexed to 2005, home values are […]

It’s the Exchange Rate, Stupid

Eurostat released trade figures today, where the trade balance (exports less imports) surged €3.7 bn in the month of June (link to the .pdf release). The current figures imply a 2012 annualized trade balance of €66.9 bn, which is a meaningful boost to the -€7.4 bn deficit in 2011. Eurostat breaks down the regional figures further into intra-Euro […]

World Trade Turning Down

Something different for today: world trade. Recently, South Korea and Taiwan released July 2012 trade statistics, where annual export growth was seen contracting at a 8.8% and 11.6% rate, respectively. The annual pace of export growth in Taiwan contracted for the fifth consecutive month, where that in South Korea turned negative following a 1.1% annual […]

Evidence of Hampered Monetary Policy Transmission Channel in the Euro Area

Mario Draghi cautioned on the ‘hampered’ transmission channel of monetary policy in his now famous London speech last week: To the extent that the size of these sovereign premia hampers the functioning of the monetary policy transmission channel, they come within our mandate. I referred to the clogging of rates policy back in April via […]

Euro Area Crisis Hits Confidence in the Core

France’s INSEE business confidence, Germany’s Ifo business climate, and the National Bank of Belgium’s business survey demonstrate ongoing infection as the Euro area debt crisis hits business expectations in the core. Through July, business confidence in Germany and France continued to slide while that in Belgium rebounded, albeit from a low base. Of note, the […]